I thought I would continue on with another travel post. My friends Mari and Shawn have some visitors arriving next month from the USA and were wondering what sights to take in and show them. I think the Santa Teresa Fort and the national park in the Department of Rocha are worth considering!
Located 302 Kms. away from MVD (Montevideo) near route 9, in the department of Rocha, is a National Park called Santa Teresa. This park is made up of some 1050 Hectares of land with over 2 plus million trees leading down to the ocean. These trees were planted as a means of sand control. Rocha is famous for it's huge sand dunes.
The Park is free to enter. It's open year round and has cabins available for rent as well as camping spots. You have to pay and register in advance for those over night stays as only so many people are allowed in the park, this is for crowd control. Hiking trails, a small zoo/ aviary, a beautiful old plant conservatory and a rose garden (with 300 different varieties of roses) are among the park's attractions.
The Fort is run by the Military but is a museum now. To visit the fort you have to check in at the guard station and pay about $25 pesos which is around $1.50 US.
The fort contains a chapel, a kitchen cookhouse and a Smith shop (for tool making) besides barracks (which now houses several models of fortresses seen throughout Uruguay).
One can also see and walk through the Command headquarters, see an antique sword and gun collection, visit the infirmary and the Magazine (where the Amo. was kept). I even took a picture of the Latrine located along the walls top. I guess besides bullets and cannon balls raining down on your enemy, other more unmentionable things could be "dumped" onto their heads!
The grounds inside the fort are not flat but instead are rolling hills planted with grass giving the impression of gentle waves (of lawn) You feel as if you're in a very peaceful place despite its warlike history.
The fort is very lovely to look at because it is covered with mosses that give an effect of a beautiful old quilt, a mosaic of Ocher (Yellow/orange), red, blue and green mosses grow on its walls.
I think that visiting the fort is an exceptional value for the money. Come through its giant gate and step back into time. History and beauty await.